Digging Deeper in Proverbs 3(e)


LoveThyNeighborAsThyself

Proverbs 3:28 “Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.”

The last observation we need to make on this chapter comes to us by way of a closer look at vs. 28.

With good reason, many commentators link this verse with Leviticus 19:13 – “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning.” And Deuteronomy 24:15 “You shall give him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets (for he is poor and counts on it), lest he cry against you to the Lord, and you be guilty of sin.”

The idea in these is mainly ethical. Workers were paid on a daily basis, not weekly or monthly. Since they depended upon the day’s wages to meet the day’s needs, timely payment was imperative. To withhold timely payment, was to sin against your neighbor’s welfare.

This is sound for us to observe in our own lives in how we pay our personal debts, as well as for corporations in how they deal with their employees. The immorality of corporations failing to be good stewards and then robbing their employees down the road of promised retirement funds and other benefits is rampant today. All this while at the same time, these same poor stewards provide the most lavish of “golden parachutes” for themselves. Do not think that God turns a blind eye to such things.

Then again, It has application when it comes to meeting the needs of those who might come to us seeking help. Being ready and willing to aide others with what God has so graciously supplied for us is a given. It is loving our neighbors as ourselves. It is living out the Gospel.

Yet, in this profound chapter, aimed at moving us toward a Gospel Centered Mind, we need to look at the thought in that context especially. In other words, in terms of our readiness to meet the deepest, most pressing need of our neighbors, with what every Christian has an inexhaustible supply of – the Gospel itself.

It seems fitting to see this exhortation in terms being at the ready to give the Gospel at every opportunity.

Christian, do not listen to the deceptions of your own hear that argue you need to be in a better mood, or have your mind in a better place. That it is inconvenient, or that you don’t have the time at that moment to do it well. You have the words of eternal life with you at all times. Seize the moment He has provided you. Don’t wait. Fulfill your ambassadorial role and tell them the good news. “Christ has come. He has died the death for sin at Calvary. Final judgment awaits us all – and might be here in a moment. Look to Christ and put your trust in Him as your sin-bearer. Today. Forsake your sin, repent and believe.” What an impact a moment can have on someone’s eternity.

Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.”

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